Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ellen Kort: "Advice to Beginners"

Begin. Keep on beginning. Nibble on everything.
Take a hike. Teach yourself to whistle. Lie.
The older you get the more they'll want your stories.
Make them up. Talk to stones. Short-out electric
fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon. Learn
how to die. Eat moonshine pie. Drink wild geranium
tea. Run naked in the rain. Everything that happens
will happen and none of us will be safe from it.
Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night.
Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the top
of the highest tree until you come to the branch
where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast.
Wear them on your forehead. Lick the mountain's
bare shoulder. Measure the color of days
around your mother's death. Put your hands
over your face and listen to what they tell you.

"Advice to Beginners" by Ellen Kort, from If I Had My Life to Do Over I'd Pick More Daisies, edited by Sandra Martz. © Papier-Mache Press, 2010.

Photography credit: Unknown (originally black and white).



  1. It's a good day if I start with an Ellen Kort poem; a great day if I take it to heart.

  2. i liked it. it really is advise to beginners

  3. I needed this bravery today! Thank you, Ellen!


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